TUSCANY

Tuscany is the quintessence of everything that is glorious about Italy. 
The landscape is stunning, the food delectable, the wine fine, the paintings sublime, the buildings Magnificent, the people friendly the light clear and golden and the country unspoiled. But it is the harmony with which these elements are combined their continuity with the past and the feeling that the heavenly jigsaw has been in place for centuries becoming evermore mellow as the years pass that make Tuscany so very seductive.

More than anywhere else Siena embodies the aspect of a medieval city. As a center for the arts Siena is an enticing maze of narrow streets lined with tall palaces and patrician mansions which come together on the famous Piazza del Campo.
San Gimignano is surrounded by a gently rolling countryside dotted with vines and olive trees. Its 14 greystone towers set on a hilltop are enclosed within an outer wall including five gates. It has all the charm of a small medieval town built mainly of brick and has been amazingly well preserved.
Montepulciano is an attractive small town typical of the Renaissance period. It occupies a remarkably picturesque setting on the top of a hill separating two valleys. Poets have long sung the praises of its ruby-red wine ("Vino Nobile").
Montalcino, the capital of the Brunello wine, is an intact medieval village rich in monuments and artworks.
Cortona occupies a remarkable area surrounded with olive trees on the steep slope overlooking the Chiana Valley. It has retained its medieval town wall, and has barely changed since the renaissance period.
Lucca has preserved within its girdle of ramparts, a rich heritage in churches, palaces, squares and streets which gives the town a charming air, unscathed by contemporary developments.
Beyond the kitsch that the Leaning Tower has spawned, Pisa has much to see. Its treasures are more subtle than Florence's, but the cathedral baptistery- campanile complex on Piazza del Duomo is among the most dramatic ensembles in Italy.
Pienza is a perfect example of Renaissance town planning. It was commissioned by Pope Pius II, the diplomat and humanist poet, who wanted to build the ideal town.

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